MSc in Environmental Archaeology


Co-ordinator: Michele Wollstonecroft
Other Major Contributors: Dorian Fuller, Louise Martin, Manuel Arroyo-Kalin

The UCL Institute of Archaeology has a long research and training tradition in environmental archaeology, going back its roots in the 1940s. Zooarchaeology and geoarchaeology have been part of the Institute’s research profile since that time and archaeobotanical research began here in the 1960s. As a result the institute has well-established laboratory facilities and reference collections. This current MSc aims to:

  • To provide participants with a theoretical understanding of research questions and methodologies in the study past human-environment interactions, including subsistence and subsistence change. Background in the study Temporal and spatial patterns and processes of community ecology, landscape change and agricultural systems will be provided.
  • To provide participants taking the MSc qualification with training in research methods relevant to environmental archaeology, including general familiarity with evidence from archaeobotany, archaeozoology and geoarchaeology.
  • To provide practical training in laboratory practice of at least one environmental archaeological science (archaeozoology, geoarchaeology or archaeobotany)
  • To enable degree holders to pursue specialized research on archaeological data relating to past environments and/or subsistence.

Students will gain practical experience in laboratory analysis of samples of at least one of the following: identification of animal bones, identification of plant macro-remains, sedimentological analyses. Students will also be taught to understand stratigraphic formation processes and their implications for developing sampling strategies, in part through archaeological site visit(s). Students will be prepared to collect and analyse data using appropriate methods and to report scientific results to publication standards.

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